Mobile Chat Rooms

When I was writing Totally Wired, I remember interviewing a group of low-income African American teens in Philly and asking them about an article I read on teens using chat lines. For teens without computers at home, this was the alternative form of socializing and flirting. It makes sense that phones, especially cell phones would take the place of more expensive laptops or PCs for low income youth…and that mobile social networking would also appeal to this audience for the same reason. AdWeek ran a piece about Axe’s latest attempt to reach their target audience in this space. What I found interesting was the description of who is using mobile chatrooms:

AirG research shows that most of its members are between 18-30 years old and work in service industries, 60 percent did not go to college and more than half don’t own a PC. Almost all bought their phones for $100 or less…

Members use the network to locate friends, send instant messages or join interest-based “lounges” to chat with multiple users about various subjects. They share photos and videos and search for dates, just like on MySpace.

I would be curious to see a socio-economic portrait of the teen users on these services as well.

 

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without cinnamon roll breakfast and watching The Twilight Zone marathon.” –Male, 13, CA

Millennials are first generation digital, and have broadcast countless moments of their lives online—but for the most part, they were in charge of their own digital images. For the next generation, this is not the case. Parents today post (often embarrassing, see above) photos of their offspring from the womb on, which destroys any hope of anonymity they might later have. One writer argues that parents should be vigilant about keeping their children’s images off the internet until they are mature enough to decide what they want their digital identity to be. (Slate)

“Me Me Me” and selfie-obsessed. In article after article, Millennials are accused of being the most narcissistic generation to date. But the data often cited to prove this claim might be flawed, and other research has “directly contradicted the idea that Millennials are the most narcissistic of previous generations.” In a study of high-school seniors across decades, little change in ideas about self-esteem and life satisfaction was found, and another found narcissistic behavior is linked to life-stage, not generation. (The Atlantic)

The next generation might be growing up with tech-galore, but they’re also reading some of the same classics the previous generation enjoyed. Book-reading data from 9.8 million students shows that Green Eggs and Ham is the number one book read by first and second graders, and made the top five book list for third graders. The data also shows that girls are reading more than boys, outpacing them after grade four. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Young consumers have made binge watching a media consumption norm, but the full impact of streaming services hasn’t been fully measured—until now. Nielsen will begin to track viewership data on Amazon and Netflix next month, providing content owners with information on the impact of licensing shows to these sites and whether streaming is “meaningfully eating into traditional television viewing.” Previously, Nielsen found that after signing up for streaming services, 18-34-year-olds watch TV less than they used to. (StreamdailyWall Street Journal)

Eek—2014 seems to be the year of bad Barbie press. This week a Barbie picture book titled I Can Be a Computer Engineer is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons—it turns out it teaches girls they can’t code without a boys’ help. Those protesting the book assert that it is perpetrates a cultural message that “computers are a boys thing,” when brands should be supporting girls who really do like to code. (Recode)

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